Jack Ross explains how he'll approach Sunderland selection and tactics at Fleetwood with play-offs potentially on the horizon

Jack Ross is set to make changes to his Sunderland side when they travel to Fleetwood on Tuesday night, but insists he will pick the strongest side possible.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 4:57 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 5:10 pm
Jack Ross says he will pick the strongest side possible for the trip to Fleetwood

The Black Cats look set for a play-off campaign after the 1-1 draw with Portsmouth on Saturday.

To avoid that they need to win their final two games of the season and hope their rivals slip up with a major swing in goal difference.

Ross has some injury concerns after the weekend but will not rest players purely with the play-offs in mind.

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"We've got two or three concerns from the weekend that we've looked at today," Ross said.

"It might be that we're forced into two or three changes just because of the knocks that we've picked up.

"It's nothing major but we have to make changes.

"The focus is very much on winning the two games [rather than resting players for play-offs], for a lot of different reasons," he added.

"One, imagine if we didn't do that [pick strongest side] and other results went the way we needed them to.

"Two, we want to finish the season with two wins and a record that ordinarily would give ourselves a really good chance of achieving automatic promotion.

"But as I've mentioned, there are two or three knocks from the weekend and we've had a lot of games in April, some players have played near enough every minute of it. So we'll look at it and pick the strongest team we can for the two games."

Ross will also make a late call on Aiden McGeady, who has been playing with a broken bone in his foot.

McGeady played 90 minutes on Saturday, with Ross saying at the end of the game his condition is 'improving'.

"It's quite a quick turnaround from Saturday, so we'll just see how he is," Ross added on Monday.

"He won't play if there's any doubt in either mine or his mind about his ability to play properly.

"We also have to then to consider any medical advice, so all these things will come into consideration tomorrow morning."

Sunderland will need to secure two emphatic wins to stand any chance of getting into the top two, but Ross says his side will go purely for three points first and foremost.

"You've got to win the game to begin with," Ross said.

"First of all, football is not that easy and also, this league has been shown to be highly competitive.

"Even look at the teams at the top trying to get over the line and finding it really difficult, so we're playing against a team we need to be respectful of first and foremost.

"We need to give ourselves a platform to win the game first and foremost and then if we're win a position to go and try and win it by more, great. But winning is the be all and end all at the moment."